Saturday, February 3, 2007

HPV, STD and Texas Governor Rick Perry

The Associated Press reported late yesterday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has circumvented Conservative lawmakers and parents by issuing an executive order making it mandatory that school age females receive the vaccination Gardasil against the human papillomavirus (HPV) beginning in 2008.(article)

On the surface this may all seem well and good, we have all seen the ads touting that HPV is a virus that could lead to cervical cancer. Yet, there was no mention of the fact that HPV was a sexually transmitted disease (STD). A hat tap to the marketing team at Merck Pharmaceutical for leaving out that little tidbit of info. But the big question is, why did Gov. Perry step up to make this landmark order? He has direct connections to both Merck and others who are pushing the issue, AP says,
"Perry has ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug company’s three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, Perry’s former chief of staff. His current chief of staff’s mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government."

Pretty blatant for Perry to have such visible ties to the major players in this issue and still make the order in the name of what is best for the children. Oops, not the children, "the girls". When confronted on the issue Perry claims that this is no different than requiring a polio vaccination. Huh?

Q and A Time! If the vaccine is only required for females then it isn't just like polio. If the transmission of HPV is through sex activity then it isn't just like polio. If a female abstains from sex then she is "immune" to HPV, that isn't just like polio.

It would appear that the aforementioned women's groups have been caught up in quite a web of misinformation and I really have difficulty accepting the fact that this is considered a women's issue. Obviously many female conservative parents are going to be concerned that this is a "get out of jail free card" from the State to have sex. There will be the confusion as to whether or not this is also a form of birth control, no matter how much sex ed is throw at today's school. As well as the fact that not women, but girls as young as 9 will be required to receive this vaccination. But it appears to this writer that the role of men in the spread of HPV is somehow completely void in this discussion. What about their promiscuity? Where is there vaccine? Are they not a carrier of this virus?

As a parent, these would be my questions to the Gov. Perry:

1) Governor, why make this vaccine available for girls as young as 9?

2) Governor, why require it at all and not just make it an option with parental consent?

3)Governor, why is TX the first state to be embroiled in this debate? Is this about TX or your connections to those lobbying for the Pharmaceutical company?

4) Governor, what are the statistic for HPV and cervical cancer in TX? Are they more prevalent in TX? If so, why?

5) Governor, it would appear by your "just like polio" comment that you aren't well informed on the transmission of this virus. Would you care to expound?

6) Governor, obviously this vaccine has FDA approval, but are there any long-term independent studies that have been done that show any positive or negative effects on the females that received the vaccine? If not, don't you think you are taking a huge liability risk by making it mandatory vs. optional? Do you feel that the Great State of Texas is financially prepared for the litany of law suits that could abound if some long term effects do surface in say 10 or 20 years?

I really have to wonder what Merck is offering that would make such a gamble with the lives of millions of women acceptable.

**** UPDATE 2/4/07 from Fox News - More Trouble for Perry ****
Click here for more

1 comment:

Elizabeth Grattan said...

Nice blog.

(love your layout by the way)

I have some thoughts...

For Your Own Good

Would love yours as well.